Qureshi: Naqvi made chief minister to make elections controversial

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) deputy chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi Wednesday raised concerns over the appointment of Mohsin Naqvi as the interim chief minister of Punjab, calling it “controversial.”

Speaking to journalists in Multan, Qureshi said his party has serious reservations about Naqvi’s appointment and has decided to “take to the streets” in protest.

He also said the PTI has recorded its protest with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) over the appointment.

Qureshi also commented on the arrest of PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry and the appointment of Bilal Siddique Kamyana as the Lahore capital city police officer, criticizing both developments as politically motivated.

Considered a close friend and confidant of former president Asif Ali Zardari, Naqvi’s appointment is considered a win for the PDM government.

Naqvi is also married into the family of former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and his cousin Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

Despite this relationship, the appointment has rubbed Pervez Elahi and his political allies, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI), the wrong way. Fawad Chaudhry, senior vice president of the party, rejected the appointment and said the tribunal “never failed to disappoint” the opposition party.

“We reject the decision to appoint a controversial person such as Mohsin Naqvi as the chief minister,” he said while urging party workers to prepare for mass-scale protests led by their leader Imran Khan.

“Appointing Naqvi as the caretaker chief minister is making a mockery of the Constitution. The PTI will challenge the decision and protest against it,” said Asad Umar, the party’s general secretary, in a tweet.

Pervez Elahi also brought up his own relationship with Naqvi, saying “how can a person I am related to be appointed caretaker chief minister? We will approach the Supreme Court regarding the ECP’s decision,” he tweeted, also recalling that Naqvi had struck a plea bargain in a graft case.

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